Etiquette for Addressing Personal Invitations

by Chelsea Baldwin

If you want the guests to your event to be impressed from the beginning, you should make an effort to send attractive invitations addressed in a proper, formal manner. Fortunately, the etiquette for addressing invitations is simple to follow and will help you to make a successful first impression.

Outer Envelope

On the front of the outer envelope, above the mailing address of the guests receiving the invitation, write proper titles along with first and last names. For example, for a married couple, you would write, "Mr. and Mrs. John Smith." However, if the couple use different last names, you would write, "Mr. John Smith and Ms. Jane Doe." Include titles like "Dr.," if it applies.

Inner Envelope

Place the invitation within an inner envelope that then goes inside of the outer envelope. When the recipient opens the outer envelope from the back flap, the front of the inner envelope should immediately be seen. This inner envelope should be addressed with a less formal greeting. For example, write "Mr. and Mrs. Green," "Mr. Smith and Ms. White," or "Miss Lin." For close friends, you can write first and last names, like "Henry and Alice Summers."


For families with children under 16 years of age, never write "and family" on the outer envelope. Instead, list the names of the children, from oldest to youngest, on the inner envelope after you write the parents' names.

16 and Up

If you plan to invite children age 16 years and older who are still living at their parents' home, send them separate invitations. Follow the same etiquette you would use to address an invitation to an adult living alone. On the outer envelope, write "Mr. Eric Brown," and on the inner envelope, simply write "Mr. Brown."

About the Author

Chelsea Baldwin began writing professionally for local newspapers in 2008. She has published articles in “High Country Press” and “Kernersville News.” She also produced newsletters for a local chapter of AIESEC, a global nonprofit organization. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from Appalachian State University.

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